Katherine M. Newton, PhD

“The work I do helps people with chronic conditions such as diabetes manage their health. And I'm helping women make decisions about managing menopause symptoms.”

Katherine M. Newton, PhD

Senior Investigator (Emeritus), Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Biography

Katherine Newton, PhD, is a chronic disease epidemiologist who is passionate about finding ways to help women stay healthy during midlife. Known for her research on menopause, Dr. Newton is a national leader in the search for non-hormonal treatments for menopausal symptoms.

After a 20-year career as a cardiovascular nurse specialist, Dr. Newton pursued her PhD in epidemiology and shifted her focus to epidemiologic research, joining Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) as a postdoctoral fellow in 1995. Dr. Newton focuses on health concerns for women reaching midlife and on menopause in particular. She has two primary research goals. The first is to help women transition through menopause in the healthiest way possible, and she is especially interested in investigating ways to relieve menopause symptoms without using hormone replacement therapy. Her second goal is to ensure that people with diabetes, or at high risk for diabetes, have access to the information and support they need to stay healthy.

Dr. Newton’s 2006 randomized trial of alternative therapies for menopause received widespread interest, leading to several invited talks around the world. Study analyses continue to yield compelling findings, including a 2007 publication linking low libido in menopause to trouble sleeping. She is currently participating in a multisite network of investigators, MsFLASH Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health. This group has conducted 5 randomized trials testing the efficacy of yoga, exercise, omega-3 fatty acids, escitalopram and low dose estrogen for menopause symptoms. Dr. Newton’s other areas of interest include studying the intersection of women’s health and chronic disease, especially diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Newton is a member of several professional organizations, including the North American Menopause Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association. She sits on the latter’s councils on cardiovascular epidemiology and cardiovascular nursing. Dr. Newton has held two faculty appointments at the University of Washington since 1999, as affiliate associate professor in epidemiology, biobehavioral nursing, and health systems.

Research interests and experience

Recent publications

Pocobelli G, Yu O, Fuller S, Fraser JR, Wartko P, Chen L, Newton K, Dimer J, McCulloch D, Warwick S, Dublin S. One-step approach to identifying gestational diabetes mellitus: association with perinatal outcomes. Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Aug 17. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002780. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Mitchell CM, Reed SD, Diem S, Larson JC, Newton KM, Ensrud KE, LaCroix AZ, Caan B, Guthrie KA. Efficacy of vaginal estradiol or vaginal moisturizer vs placebo for treating postmenopausal vulvovaginal symptoms: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Mar 19. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.0116. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Citronberg JS, Curtis KR, White E, Newcomb PA, Newton K, Atkinson C, Song X, Lampe JW, Hullar MA. Association of gut microbial communities with plasma lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) in premenopausal women. ISME J. 2018 Feb 12. doi: 10.1038/s41396-018-0064-6. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Mitchell CM, Srinivasan S, Plantinga A, Wu MC, Reed SD, Guthrie KA, LaCroix AZ, Fiedler T, Munch M, Liu C, Hoffman NG, Blair IA, Newton K, Freeman EW, Joffe H, Cohen L, Fredricks DN. Associations between improvement in genitourinary symptoms of menopause and changes in the vaginal ecosystem. Menopause. 2017 Dec 4. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001037. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

 

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